Skipper Jamaal Lascelles rescued Newcastle at the death when he equalised in injury time to deny Aston Villa victory and rekindle hope of English Premier League survival.
Lascelles powered home a last-gasp header to snatch a 1-1 draw at St James' Park on Saturday (AEST) just as it looked as though Ollie Watkins' 86th-minute effort, which looped in off unfortunate former Villa defender Ciaran Clark, had plunged them deeper into the mire.
Magpies coach Steve Bruce might have been left bemoaning his luck had his captain not intervened after substitute Jacob Murphy hit the crossbar minutes earlier.
While his side has won only twice in 19 games in all competitions, they sit two points clear of the drop zone with 10 fixtures remaining.
Villa remained ninth, on a night when Bruce and counterpart coach Dean Smith might ordinarily have hoped the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin or Jack Grealish light up the contest.
The match failed to ignite in their absence until the closing stages.
Newcastle boss Bruce was delighted with his side's attitude to claim an equaliser after falling behind so late.
"Their goal is a bit of a fluke but you've got to show hunger and desire to get back into it and we've done that," Bruce told BT Sport.
"We've managed to scrape something out of it and I think we at least deserved that."
Villa boss Smith was disappointed Lascelles' late header had denied his side two points.
"When you're a goal up with four minutes to go you're disappointed (not to win) naturally," Smith told BT Sport.
"We didn't deserve to win, but I thought it was a bit of an ugly game. We should see it out, but I can't be too hard on the boys because they have done for most of the season."